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Satin Whale

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Satin Whale Desert Places album cover
3.79 | 51 ratings | 6 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1.Desert Places (6:48)
2.Seasons Of Life (6:41)
3.Remember (9:38)
4.I Often Wondered (7:15)
5.Perception (12:56)

Total Time : (43:18)

Line-up / Musicians

- Thomas Brück / bass, vocals
- Gerald Dellmann / keyboards
- Dieter Roesberg / guitars, saxophone, flute, vocals
- Horst Schöffgen / drums

Releases information

LP Brain 1049 [1974]

Thanks to alucard for the addition
and to Joolz for the last updates
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SATIN WHALE Desert Places ratings distribution

(51 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(55%)
Good, but non-essential (10%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

SATIN WHALE Desert Places reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by hdfisch
4 stars First album by this rather late Krautrock band was undoubtedly their very best one. Actually the only point of criticism one could quote is the fact that it might have sounded already a bit dated in its year of release. Being much in the vein of early Tull, Iron Butterfly, Cream or The Doors the tracks presented here are a wonderful demonstration of this early Art Rock or Proto-Prog style. The title song is the one reminding the most to Tull with a soaring flute and heavy organ. It's a very powerful and grooving one with a sort of psychedelic blues guitar play that's bringing Cream back to mind. "Seasons Of Life" is even in a stronger psychedelic vein, kinda The Doors meet Cream or Iron Butterfly, very groovin' stuff as well. This record doesn't let your foot stand still only for one second. Though it might be not considered as that much progressive for the year of 1974 "Desert Places" was nevertheless a brilliant album in organ driven Art Rock typical for beginning seventies.

Probably not essential for any prog collector in general, but highly recommended for fans of jammin' and groovin' early 70s psychedelic blues rock!

Review by Neu!mann
3 stars Satin Whale was one of those bands that never managed to transcend the 1970s, and because their sound was less original than their more adventurous Krautrock cousins they merit barely a footnote in Prog Rock history.

Which is a shame, because not every German band needed to be as seditious as CAN (to cite the obvious example: both groups hailed from the same vicinity of Cologne). To their credit, Satin Whale would later riff all over the Hebrew folk song "Hava Nagila" on their 1978 live album "Whalecome", which I suppose might be considered almost a daring act in a country notorious for its anti-Semitism, especially when juxtaposed against the old minstrel tune "Camptown Races" (dooh-dah, dooh-da, so forth).

But that would be years later. The band's debut album in 1974 was a hard-hitting, heavy rock effort driven by the blazing guitar of Dieter Roesberg and the Hammond organ grunge of Gerald Dellman, with some breathy flute for added variety. Comparisons to early JETHRO TULL wouldn't be out of order, but any similarity is most likely coincidental.

On its own merits the album is surprisingly vital, perhaps too light on memorable melodies but full of muscular jamming, with the best moments reserved for when the singer takes a back seat and the music is pushed to center stage, as in the 13-minute album closer "Perception". The English language titles and lyrics don't lend it any distinction, however, and the band certainly doesn't sound very German, perhaps the key to their enormous success in their native country at the time. But that anonymity of style works against them in the long run: they might be just about anyone (except maybe Tull).

More than two years have passed since anyone reviewed a Satin Whale record on these pages. It might be another two years before the next review. They were always a band more comfortable in the present tense, following current fashions instead of setting new trends. But that doesn't mean they need to be completely dismissed, and this album in particular is well worth another listen.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Found in 1971, German band Satin Whale originated from the Cologne area with Thomas Brueck on bass, Gerald Dellmann on keyboards, Horst Schöffgen on drums and Dieter Roesberg on multiple instruments and vocals.The rumors say that they started as an all instrumental group, before adding vocals in their repertoire, then signed with the legendary Brain label and released their debut ''Desert Places'' in 1974.

Despite heading to the mid-70's, Satin Whale played a typical, old-fashioned Kraut/Progressive Rock, a bit like TOMMOROW'S GIFT or EILIFF, with also references to the British scene, mostly because of the English lyrics and the evident bluesy influences.On their debut album they present a rich and energetic Progressive Rock with long tracks, characterized by the extended instrumental themes, the good interplays, the dynamic jams and the powerful rhythmic parts.Their music is based on the strong rhythm guitars, the jazzy rhythm section, the sharp riffs and the constant use of Hammond organ in quite a psychedelic mood.There are also some JETHRO TULL-eque flute bits and more discreet Classical inspirations in some preludes or the use of harsichord, but the main force of the release remain the abstract jamming sessions, the Hard Rock parts and the solid solos on guitars and organ.Surely there are a few sudden surprises to be found in the album, which is heavily influenced by the German monsters of the recent past.But the band delivers some good breaks and ''Desert places'' contains plenty of shifting climates to satisfy the Prog listener.

Consistent and well-performed Kraut Rock with decent performances and lots of psychedelic moments in a Hard Rock enviroment.Not outstanding, but definitely rewarding.There is also another vinyl release out from 1979, again on the Brain label, featuring a different cover.Recommended.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I found an original green Brain/Metronome LP pressing at a Eugene, Oregon record store. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! So I snatched it because it was sold at a rather cheap prince ($20), only to find out copies go for ten times that much, or even more so. This isn't the 2010 reprint, as th ... (read more)

Report this review (#1463355) | Posted by Progfan97402 | Monday, September 14, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It is unkwnown, but it should not! I was impressed when I first listened to Desert Places. This German band deserves more attention from the progarchives members. I would say this album is more a prog folk than prog related or krautrock and I could note the influence of Ian Anderson in many son ... (read more)

Report this review (#262488) | Posted by zedumar | Monday, January 25, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Satin Whale's Desert Places was a fantastic heavy-prog effort, performing a mix of blues, hard rock and slight jazz, tempered by a stunning guitar, killer swirling organ and hard driven bass and drum. I can find a couple of influences by British and American Rock bands, but their German ascent r ... (read more)

Report this review (#163327) | Posted by ELDOPOP | Thursday, March 6, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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